This paper argues that western security practices are as biopolitical as they are geopolitical. Explaining that biopolitical security practices revolve around “life” as species existence, the paper explores how biopoliticized security practices secure by instantiating a general economy of the contingent throughout all the processes of reproductive circulation that impinge upon species existence. For this reason, “Governing Terror” does not merely reference the massive global security effort that is now devoted to governing terror. It observes how western security practices are themselves now also governed by a widespread fear of terror. It locates that fear in the way that western biopolitics has long adopted “the contingent” as its principle of formation. Here, “the real” is understood and experienced differently, as a general economy of emergence: “life” understood as constant nonlinear adaptation and change. The paper concludes that the state of emergency, which governs western politics of security at the beginning of the twenty-first century is not that of Carl Schmitt or Giorgio Agamben. The state of emergency which governs western security politics is the emergency of emergent life itself.

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